Best of 2018: Tim Kasher (Cursive) Loves Jóhann Jóhannsson’s Soundtrack for Mandy

The late composer's creepy, atmospheric music made for Kasher's favorite album of the year.

In place of a more traditional year-end best-of list, Talkhouse has asked some of our favorite artists to choose their favorite album of 2018 and tell us all about it.
—The Talkhouse Team

Admittedly I’m picking Jóhann Jóhannsson’s Mandy soundtrack somewhat because he passed away this year; I think I may have appreciated it even more while lamenting his passing. It’s cool to hear him delve so deep, and go in the direction that the director, Panos Cosmatos, took him in. Jóhannsson really took it on, and made it part of his vision, too.

The movie is fun. I still very much come from a rock & roll world, and to listen to stuff this atmospheric I need to be in the right mood. And this one is so atmospheric, more so than other composers. Arrival was the first time I really started recognizing what Jóhannsson was up to. He was an interesting guy to explore. So even though atmospheric music isn’t really my go-to, I find a lot of inspiration in what he does. It’s not necessarily his forte either; he’s a really melodic guy. He’s done vastly different scores. Theory of Everything was really big for him, and it was a lot more traditional for him, or just in general. He knew how to show tons of restraint, which is something that us musicians can learn from. The music is such a major part of Mandy, but it never feels like it oversteps. It never chews the scenery, and that’s just so smart.

As told to Josh Modell.

(Photo Credit: left, John Sturdy)

Tim Kasher is the frontman of Cursive and The Good Life. He wrote and directed his debut film, No Resolution, which is currently available on Amazon Prime and iTunes. Cursive’s eighth studio album, Vitriola, will be released October 5 on its new imprint, 15 Passenger.